Peabody Coal's Prairie State Plant Puts Illinois Residents at Risk
July 19, 2005
Good news! Citing our ongoing efforts to ensure that new coal plants use low-pollution technology, a Kentucky plant developer has announced that it will change its plans for the Cash Creek plant in Henderson County. The company will use significantly cleaner technology at the new plant, which will reduce air pollution caused by particulates, ozone, sulfur dioxide, and greenhouse gases. In announcing its change of plans, the company said that it wanted to minimize the type of environmental problems that have plagued other developers, such as Peabody Coal’s Prairie State station. In a true sign of the efficacy of our campaign to clean up coal plants, this is the second developer to make this type of announcement in the past six months. Read the full news story below.
June 8, 2005
Following a directive to reconsider its permit for the massive Prairie State Generating Station, Illinois reissued a permit to Peabody Coal in late April. Unfortunately, the new permit still fails to take into consideration readily available state of the art technology that would drastically reduce the amount of air pollution in the already plagued Greater St. Louis metropolitan area. The State was given a second chance to listen to the public’s demands, but instead decided to give Peabody the green light to violate federal air quality standards designed to protect public health. Joining with a coalition including the American Lung Association and American Bottom Conservancy, Sierra Club has now challenged the permit a second time in front of the EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board. The goal of the action is to force the State to seriously consider alternative approaches that would put the safety and well-being of local citizens before the desires of a big company. Read the latest press release below.
March 3, 2005
Plans to construct one of the nation’s largest coal-fired power plants in Illinois came to a grinding halt in late March when the U.S. EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board ruled that the State had violated key public participation requirements and sent the permit back for further consideration. Sierra Club and our allies have opposed Peabody’s plant near Marissa because it lacks modern pollution controls and it is less than two miles from the edge of the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area which already violates federal air pollution standards. The project would also emit large amounts of the neurotoxin mercury at a time when every lake, river and stream in Illinois is under a fish consumption advisory because of existing mercury levels. In addition, the state issued the permit over the objections of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service who found that the additional air pollution would seriously harm the nearby Mingo National Wildlife Refuge in Missouri. Now Illinois will have to address public concerns and consider a revised permit that takes these serious health and environmental consequences to heart. The decision is particularly important in light of the National Coal Rush and the push to construct as many as twelve new coal-fired power plants in the state over the next few years. The case is part of a larger multiple state grassroots campaign to make sure that the Peabody plant and all other new plants protect public health by fully complying with the Clean Air Act.
Details and Documents:
May 8, 2006 by Ken Leiser, St. Louis Post Dispatch
Energy yeah.... Peabody can do that
December 16, 2005 Editorial, St. Louis Post Dispatch
Cleaner power plant eyed in Henderson area
July 19, 2005 by Chuck Stinnett, Henderson Gleaner
Peabody's Dirty Coal Plant on Hold Again as Coalition Files New Appeal of Air Pollution Permit
June 08, 2005 Coalition Press Release
Environmental groups file second appeal against plant
June 9, 2005 by Lisa White, Belleville News-Democrat
Construction of clean coal power plant delayed again
June 9, 2005 by Kristen Cates, The Southern Illinoisan
Peabody plant proposal draws fire
June 8, 2005 by Jeffrey Tomich, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Remand Order (136k PDF)
Environmental Appeals Board
March 25, 2005
See other "Stopping the Coal Rush" cases.